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"Results and Implications of the Minuteman Project"
May, 2005, As submitted to the House Immigration Reform Caucus
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September, 2006 As submitted to the House Immigration Reform Caucus
The greatest homeland security challenges facing America are the preservation of our national sovereignty and historic constitutional rights in the face of terrorist enemies and globalism.
The best defense against terrorist attacks on our homeland is a combination of full enforcement of our existing immigration laws, improved intelligence gathering ability within strict constitutional limits, and increased homeland security forces to guard key infrastructure.
The best defense against loss of American sovereignty is through educating the American public and elected officials on the true cost to the American middle class of allowing continued waves of low-income immigrants and below-cost products to flood our markets while simultaneously allowing American jobs to be outsourced to foreign nations.
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September 25, 2009
What Just Happened to U.S. National Security While Nobody Was Looking
USFF Editorial Board
Over the past week President Barack Obama conceded any future armed conflict between the United States and Red China, Russia and Islamic Fascists.
The President first announced he was dropping our missile defense plans in Eastern Europe that we have been developing since the 1980s under then President Ronald Reagan.
For our allies (maybe former allies is now the word) Poland and Czechoslovakia, this means continued vulnerability to the nuclear arsenal of a reviving Communist Russia, which occupied and brutalized both countries for over fifty years. With impeccable timing, Obama announced the move on the exact 70th anniversary of the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland.
This accomplishes two feats for our enemies. One, Eastern Europe will not have a shield from Russian nuclear missiles. Two, since Poland and Czechoslovakia are in the direct flight path of a missile fired from Iran at New York or Washington, we have lost our best ground-based chance to knock down an intercontinental ballistic missile attack from the Middle East.
Then yesterday came the Obama speech at the United Nations, during which he called for the total nuclear disarmament of all nations, including the United States.
Now that’s a lofty goal for a world in which all nations respect the borders, sovereignty and human rights of all. But that’s not the world we live in.
Red China has been actively and publicly preparing for war with the United States for decades. Their advantage is manpower, where they outnumber us by more than three-to-one with over 1.3 billion people compared to our 300 million. We currently have the edge in technology, conventional weapons systems and nuclear deterrence.
But thanks to Democratic President Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress giving this rogue nation most-favored trade status in 1999, China is rapidly closing the technology and weapons gap, leaving nuclear deterrence as the only power safeguard against Chinese aggression against not just the United States, but our allies Taiwan, Japan or the Philippines.
Meanwhile, radical Islamic-fascists worldwide have vowed the total destruction of America unless we renounce the Bill of Rights, designate Islam the official religion of the United States, and subject all non-Islamic citizens to second-class status as called for in the Koran. And there are currently nuclear arsenals under construction in Iran and North Korea to make that threat a real possibility.
The only thing standing in the way of such a nuclear terror attack is our willingness to mount a pre-emptive strike against those facilities if necessary, or if we fail to do so, to meet a nuclear terror attack against us with a devastating counterattack.
As of yesterday, September 23, 2009, our President Barack Obama told the world he is willing to give that away. Today he voted in the United Nations Security Council for this resolution, without requiring a word in the document dealing with the nuclear proliferation of Iran or North Korea.
If we follow this plan for total unilateral nuclear disarmament, we have relegated our nation, now with the most powerful defense system in the world, to permanent subservient status to communist and radical Islamic tyranny.
Make no mistake – that will be the end of the American middle class, as we join the rest of the world in poverty, oppression, and second-class rights.
Partisan politics, class warfare and a blatantly biased media have brought us to this brink of national extinction. Now is the time for the great silent majority in this country to awaken, get off the sofa and take back our inheritance of self-government from those who have so gamed our political system to leave us with no real choices in public policy at the polls other than gradual submission to one-world government.
It is indeed time for some real “change.”
America Still Unprepared for Catastrophic Disaster:
State Defense Force Manpower Remedy Ignored by National Leaders
COL John R. Brinkerhoff (RET), USA, Senior Fellow for Homeland Security, U.S. Freedom Foundation
An Address to the State Guard Association of the United States National Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana
Five years ago I addressed the State Guard Association Annual Conference in Charleston. At that time I spoke to the urgent need for tens of thousands of organized, disciplined, trained, and armed militia members to augment the National Guards of their respective states. I said that there would be emergencies that would require large numbers of armed personnel to provide for crowd control, evacuation, and maintenance of law and order. I urged the White House, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Governors of the several states to take advantage of the low cost state defense forces to provide additional troops when needed. I charged the State Guard Association with the mission of reviving the State Defense Forces for Homeland Security. I assigned myself the same mission.
I have the unpleasant duty to tell you that I have failed, you have failed, we all have failed to accomplish the mission. In 2002, there were 11,000 active SDF personnel in 16 states and Puerto Rico. In 2007, there are 20,000 active SDF personnel in 24 states and Puerto Rico. This is some progress, but it is not enough.
There are still 26 states without state defense forces. Many of the existing state defense forces still consist mostly of senior officers and senior NCOs. Most states do not permit their state defense force members to bear arms. Some states keep their SDF units in cadre status. Not a single state has a state defense force that can provide an adequate number of organized, disciplined, trained, and armed troops to deal with a nuclear attack, an influenza pandemic, another Category five hurricane, a catastrophic earthquake in Missouri, or any other catastrophic emergency.
We tried. Many of you stepped up to the task and tried to gain support. Hall Worthington, Jack McNiff, Ron Markarian, Al Zapanta, John Stone, and many others of you spent valuable time in visiting the folks at the National Guard Bureau, the DOD, DHS, and the Congress. A lot of time and effort was expended.
We failed. We were unable to persuade the Federal government to take this program seriously. Despite excellent support from numerous members of Congress, we were unable to persuade Congress to enact the Home Defense Forces Improvement bill. We were unable to persuade many of the governors and their adjutants general to support the SDF. It is a sad fact that after five years of effort, most senior people in the Federal Government still have not even heard about the state defense forces.
Who opposed the SDF? As the Lord High Executioner said in The Mikado, I have a little list.
Strangely, the most fervent opposition to a robust SDF came from four groups that have most to gain from a robust SDF: The National Guard Bureau, Department of Defense, National Guard Association of the US, and the Adjutant Generals Association.
The most disappointing organization has been the National Guard Bureau. Although the Chief, of the NGB still has responsibility for oversight of the SDT, nothing has been done so create an effective SDF program. We visited the NGB several times but to no avail. There was no interest in NGB to have a strong SDF. That meant that there has been no advocate for SDF inside DOD. Lack of NGB support has blocked progress and made it hard to to obtain arms, equipment, and training support from DOD. In other respects, the National Guard has done a magnificent job in supporting overseas operations and providing for homeland security. The impromptu marshaling of NG units from other states to provide a timely military presence for the Katrina response was brilliant. The role, resources, and respect for the National Guard has grown. But The National Guard Bureau has failed us and the Nation by not finding time and energy to support a strong SDF.
Another big disappointment has been the Office of the Secretary of Defense—OSD. I visited a group of deputy assistant secretaries in the Reserve Affairs Office and presented the case for the SDF. Since I knew these people, had worked with then before, and was during my own career the acting deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, I assumed that they would agree with me that the need was important and that reviving to SDF to provide augmentation for the National Guard would be an easy sell. Instead, I was rebuffed rudely and my proposal was ridiculed. I can tell you I was not only disappointed but humiliated. These people laughed at the idea of allowing people like you to bear arms in defense of your home states. They have chosen instead to advocate a volunteer civilian reserve program that would stockpile specialists that could augment the military forces when needed. These civilians would, of course, be unarmed. That went nowhere, but so did DOD support for the SDF.
I also tried to get the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense to become our champion. The staff officers there were unwilling even to raise this issue with the Assistant Secretary because they told me that he had a bad experience with a senior officer of the New York Naval Militia officer right after the 911 attacks and was dead set against the SDF.
The National Guard Association did not help us. I went to the leaders of this organization and begged for their support. They turned me down and treated me to a recitation of the customary anecdotes about renegade militias and too many generals and colonels. I did hope that the NGAUS could see the merit in the SDF, but they did not then and do not to this day.
The greatest obstacle to the development of a strong SDF has been the Adjutant General Association composed of all 54 adjutants general. Even though half of the TAGs have SDF units under their command, the association has opposed the expansion of the SDF. This is a case of unwarranted solidarity that does damage to the SDF program.
Only one organization in DOD provided significant support for the SDF. The Reserve Forces Policy Board under the leadership of Al Zapanta worked hard on our behalf. Al was a magnificent leader and along with Bob Fiedler and others on his staff, was untiring in his support for the SDF. The RFPB sponsored a major event in Washington DC that ought to have sparked some interest and, but the RFBB could not prevail over the anti-SDF attitudes of officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
We also tried to elicit support from several of the Washington think tanks and military organizations. This effort was not successful. Most of the organizations had no idea of what we were talking about. Each had an agenda to promote and was unwilling to take on another issue. One major think tank agreed with the need for more armed troops, but wanted a federal force under DHS control instead of state troops under control of the Governors. Many simply were unwilling to credit the thought that you SDF people could be trusted to bear arms in defense of your localities.
We did try to obtain support from the Department of Homeland Security. Hall, Jack, and I visited a senior official at DHS headquarters, met with him, and never heard from him again. I recently raised the issue with senior people in FEMA and also in DHS headquarters, to no avail.
At this point it is probably a good idea to say to the representatives of the organizations that I have cited for failing to support a robust SDF program that there is nothing personal about my remarks. As Tony Soprano might say, it is just business. Actually, I speak more in sorrow than in anger. It is just that it is hard to understand why any sensible person can oppose this legal and inexpensive expansion of the Nation’s military forces in a time of grave danger.
Well, what is that danger?
There is a significant probability of another catastrophic emergency in the near future, whether it is a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. I have spent a great amount of my time in the past five years analyzing these catastrophic emergencies. A catastrophic incident or emergency is defined in the National Response Plan as follows:
Any natural or manmade incident, including terrorism, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions. A catastrophic event could result in sustained national impacts over a prolonged period of time; almost immediately exceeds resources normally available to State, local, tribal, and private-sector authorities in the impact area; and significantly interrupts government operations and emergency services to such an extent that national security would be threatened.
The Catastrophic Incident Supplement to the NRP says further that a catastrophic emergency will require immediate and proactive action by the Federal Government.
I am going to discuss five potential catastrophic emergencies in brief. The scenarios I will mention are a nuclear attack, an influenza pandemic, the New Madrid Earthquake, a prolonged power outage in a metropolitan area, and prolonged disruption of electronic communications.
A Nuclear Detonation
The most serious threat is a nuclear attack on a major metropolitan area. This is Scenario Number one of the fifteen standard national planning scenarios issued by the Homeland Security Council to provide a common basis for national planning and preparedness.
In 2005, Bob Bovey, Gene Porter, and I wrote an Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) study for the Office of the Secretary of Defense that proposed a concept of operations and estimated the demand for trained, organized, and disciplined personnel to conduct a response operation designed to maximize the number of healthy survivors. This study has been used as the basis for an OSD War Game and, suitably modified and improved, for DOD planning for this catastrophic emergency. The major problem with a nuclear detonation is the ionizing gamma radiation from fallout particles.
The concept of operations for managing the consequences of a nuclear detonation calls for organizing the space around the point of detonation into three zones.
The Primary Zone will encompass the direct blast and thermal effects of the detonation and also the primary alpha, gamma, and beta radiation. During the response, this Primary Zone will be defined and sealed off with a cordon to prevent egress by untrained and unequipped persons and to receive and process survivors who can leave the primary zone. There will be no attempts to enter the primary zone to rescue survivors. The Primary Zone will contain the bulk of the structural damage and the immediate fires from the thermal effects, although there may be secondary fires outside the Primary Zone. For a 10kt weapon, the Primary Zone will have a radius of about two miles. Depending on population density for a city and the time of detonation, about 200,000 people will be killed inside the Primary Zone. In effect, the idea is to lay siege to the Primary Zone and move the perimeter inward as the radiation decays.
The Fallout Zone will encompass the area affected by gamma radiation emanating from fallout particles borne aloft. The explosion will cause small particles to be borne by winds aloft downwind and deposited there. The radiation intensity is greatest near the point of detonation and decreases thereafter. There is no physical damage in the Fallout Zone. Again depending on population density, there could be about one million people or more who have to take shelter or evacuate the Fallout Zone. The major thrust of the entire response operation is to help these million people avoid a dangerous doze of ionizing radiation. That means that we have to be able to measure the intensity of radiation, predict the path of the fallout plume, and establish cordons around the Fallout Zone to prevent people from moving into the radiation and provide a means of processing, decontaminating, and treating people who evacuate the Fallout Zone. We advocate a mixed survival strategy for people in the Fallout Zone that includes both sheltering and evacuation in an orderly manner. This requires that we be able to communicate with the people and conduct a phased evacuation. For a 10kt weapon, the length of the Fallout Zone could be as great as 200 miles. The idea is to get as many people as possible out of the zone before they receive a dangerous dose of ionizing radiation.
There is also a Secondary Zone that will serve as a base area to support the response operation and to shelter the people who are evacuated from the Fallout Zone. This area will also be cordoned off to limit the movement of evacuees, who might be suffering from radiation illness from leaving the Secondary Zone and to prevent entry into the Secondary Zone of unauthorized persons who will increase workload in that zone and complicate the working of the response operation. The secondary zone population could be as much as six million people, who would have to be able to accommodate the one million refugees. The idea is to limit the effects of the explosion so that the rest of the Nation will not be impacted.
The parts of the United States outside the Secondary Zone will be in a state of increased alert and even panic. Authorities will anticipate a second attack and citizens will be afraid. This means that horizontal reinforcement programs such as the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) that draws forces from other states will not work.
Using some rough rules of thumb, we estimated the number of trained, organized, and disciplined responders that would be needed to conduct an effective response operation. We estimated that it would take about 300,000 such personnel, of which 150,000 would have to be armed to do their jobs. Armed personnel are needed to form and enforce the cordons around the Primary Zone, Fallout Zone, and Secondary Zone, to manage the evacuation, secure response personnel processing evacuees, protect shelters and camps for evacuees, and maintain law and order within the Secondary Zone. This demand can be met only by law enforcement officers, active duty and reserve military troops, National Guard troops, and armed members of State Defense Forces.
In the response to a Nuclear Detonation, the first few hours are of critical importance. The response operation will essentially be over after the first 48 hours. All who can be saved will have been saved by that time. The rest will die of injuries or exposure to radiation—sooner or later. This reality places a premium on rapid response. The first actions will be taken by the local responders. The initial reinforcements will be state resources, including nearby National Guard elements and SDF units. Federal resources will arrive on the scene as rapidly as they can. They will not wait until asked but as soon as the nuclear weapon detonates will proceed instantly and automatically in accordance with the Catastrophic Incident Supplement to the National Response Plan.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense and NORTHCOM have refined these numbers and have studied how to meet the demands of the nuclear scenario. They have established a concept of operations and prepared a list of units to respond. Their studies have, not surprisingly, revealed a gap between demand and supply in the first 48 hours. Simply put there are not going to be enough armed troops available rapidly to provide an adequate response when it is most needed.
Filling that gap in armed responders is the duty of the State Defense Forces. Local militia units organized, equipped, trained, and armed can provide what is essential for the first hours after a nuclear detonation. Acting on pre-scripted assignments, these units can help the local and state police set up the cordons, patrol the evacuation routes, respond to civil unrest, and secure key facilities. It might be possible also to enable the local SDF units to help in measuring radiation intensity and delivering emergency public information. This is the most demanding emergency the National faces.
I am also involved in studying measures to interdict nuclear weapons before they can get into the United States. Let me tell you that it would be foolish to assume that dedicated terrorists would not try to do this. It would be doubly foolish to assume they cannot succeed. If they do detonate a nuclear weapon in the United States, and we have not prepared to minimize the effect of the explosion, we will have failed the Nation.
I want to explore for a minute why we do not prepare for this emergency or for other catastrophic emergencies. It is a matter of attitude. Many people would rather deal with the known and familiar hazards and are reluctant to address the big ones. It was obvious for years that a Category Four Hurricane would strike New Orleans and that the levees were weak, but only a few hard core members of the Emergency Management Community took that possibility seriously.
I want to share with you’re a story that illustrates the difficulty of getting people to support an armed SDF.
In November 2005 I went to Columbus, Ohio at the request of Michael Moran, a member of the Ohio Military Reserve Association, to support the efforts of Moran and others to improve the Ohio Military Reserve. The occasion was a hearing of the Ohio Military Reserve and Homeland Security Study Commission. The objective of this exercise was to persuade the Ohio General Assembly to provide for modernizing the authorizing legislation for the Ohio Military Reserve and provide funding for expansion of the strength of that organization. My role was to testify before the Commission and advise them of the need for Ohio to have a strong SDF. The Commission included the Director of Homeland Security, the Adjutant General, Director of Public Safety, two Senators, and three Representatives.
I told the Commission that a strong, organized, disciplined, trained, and armed Ohio Military Reserve was essential in an age of terrorism. I spoke about the effects of a 10kt nuclear detonation in Chicago. This was another scenario that IDA had also addressed in its work. I explained that the Fallout Zone for such an attack would extend eastward from Chicago across Northern Indiana and Ohio to Toledo, Ohio. Thousands of Hoosiers and Ohioans would be fleeing southward to escape the radiation threat. I had done my homework and pointed out that the combined resources available to the Governor of Ohio in the form of state police and National Guard would be inadequate to manage that situation. I said the Ohio needed a strong, armed SDF of tens of thousands of armed troops to deal with that kind of emergency. I also noted that such a volunteer force would be of great value to Ohio for lesser emergencies.
The efforts Mike Moran and his colleagues were to no avail. The leadership of Ohio would not support a strong SDF. All that Moran wanted was to achieve legitimacy and have a cadre force of about 1,500 unarmed members and a miniscule budget. I had suggested an armed force of about 30,000. None of this was achieved. The Commission decided not to do anything for the Ohio Military Reserve. The greatest opponent of the enhanced SDF for Ohio was the Adjutant General, who said that he could do it all with the National Guard and did not need any help. I was distressed by this view. Upon reflection, I concluded that in addition to turf and money problems, the Adjutant General and most of the others did not believe there would ever be a nuclear attack in Chicago.
The problem is with attitude. Complacency is not a virtue for those charged with defending the United States. To be truly effective, responders have to believe that emergencies will truly occur.
An Influenza Pandemic with the Avian Flu H5N1 virus could be more devastating than even a nuclear detonation. We know the Avian Flu virus has infected a lot of birds and that it has al\ready been transmitted from birds to other animals and in a few cases from birds and animals to humans. When that happens, it is possible for the Avian Flu to affect the entire country very quickly. The pandemic will spread in two waves. The first wave will last about three months and attack mostly healthy young adults. There will be an inter-pandemic period of about three months, and then the second wave will start and last about two months and attack mostly older adults. As it spreads, the virus will mutate and shift to new forms that cannot be predicted in advance but can be determined only by isolating and identifying each new strain. Depending on the number of patients that become infected, the effects will range from 90,000 to 210,000 dead, 300,000 to 700,000 hospitalizations, 18 million to 40 million outpatients, and total infections of from 38 million to 93 million people. Whether the workload is the upper limit or the lower limit or something in between depends on how the response is conducted.
The public health and health care delivery system cannot deal effectively with this kind of pandemic. Vaccinations will not stop the spread of the disease because the correct vaccine cannot be made until the exact virus is identified. Once the causal virus is isolated, it will take six to nine months to produce the appropriate vaccine. Even if an H5N1 vaccine is stockpiled in advance, it might not be effective. Even if it is effective, it will be impossible to vaccinate more than about 10% of the population.
The public health and health care delivery systems will be overwhelmed. The number of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals is finite and cannot be expanded enough to cope with the workload. The number of hospital beds with supporting paraphernalia in the United States is also finite, and there will be too few beds to cope with the workload. There are only about one million hospital beds in the United States, and almost all of these are already occupied.
Medical professionals realize they cannot stop this pandemic. Their best advice is to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. Even the palliative medicines, such as TamiFlu are inadequate to the task.
This means that a major emphasis has to be made on stopping the transmission of the virus and reducing the rates of infection at least to a manageable level and perhaps stopping the spread of the virus entirely. The experience with the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918 suggests that quarantine or isolation works well in stopping the spread of the disease.
Present plans call for states to call for voluntary quarantines. I suspect that in the real event, the states will impose mandatory quarantines. When quarantine is imposed, the major problems are how to sustain the people after stocks of food are exhausted, how to distribute medicines, and how to perform vaccinations. Doing these things will be a major challenge for emergency managers and medical people.
The law enforcement community with the help of the National Guard and State Defense Forces will have to enforce the quarantines and maintain law and order. Foolish people will refuse to obey the rules of the quarantine and wander about carelessly spreading the virus. Desperate people will use force to obtain scarce vaccines and medicines. Hungry people will take it upon themselves to obtain food for themselves and their families. Angry people will take out their anger on medical and other people trying to help them. Criminals and street gangs will take advantage of the situation to enrich themselves.
During such a pandemic each governor will need a large number of organized, disciplined, trained, and armed troops to help law enforcement agencies enforce the quarantines and provide security for those who the spread of the disease and see that supplies of scarce commodities are distributed fairly to all. A strong SDF will be needed.
The New Madrid Earthquake
This is a very real possibility. If a magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurs along the central portion of the Mississippi River Valley, the consequences would be wide-ranging and serious. This has been a concern of emergency managers for years, and FEMA is now engaged in preparing a plan to deal with it.
The consequences will be severe. All the bridges across the Mississippi River from Cairo to St Louis will be down. Roads and bridges in seven states will be damaged. Pipelines and electrical cables will be down. Transportation will be at a standstill. Millions of people will be left without essential services. Thousands will be injured by collapsing structures, and many more will be left temporarily homeless. The damage and disruption will be great.
A good concept for managing this catastrophic emergency is to ask all residents to remain in their localities instead of trying to move outside of the affected area. Search and rescue operations will be conducted on a local basis, and localities will have to deal with casualties from the effects of the earthquake. Essential supplies and services and additional responders would be brought into the affected states from outside private sector and federal resources and private sector resources under Federal management. This will preclude having thousands of persons on the highways trying to leave and making it difficult for outside help to get to the survivors inside the affected states.
In this kind of situation, there will be numerous instances of violence. The local police will be overwhelmed, and the governors of the affected states will have to provide National Guard and SDF forces to assist in the immediate response tasks and in the subsequent delivery and distribution of essential goods and services. While Federal forces will be used, much of their effort will be on the logistics of providing support. Responsibility for maintaining law and order and securing the responders will fall on the governors. They will need to have strong SDF units with organized, disciplined, trained, and armed troops to augment the police and National Guard forces.
A Prolonged Power Outage
It would be relatively easy for a terrorist group to cause a widespread power outage either by physical means or by a cyber attack. If this occurs, there would be widespread disruption of essential services and distribution of essential goods. We all depend on electrical power for what we do. We cannot pump gas without power. We cannot work in offices, keep cool, or keep warm without power. We cannot communicate or do business without power.
It such an outage lasts for a few hours, it is a nuisance. If the outage lasts a few days, it is an irritant. If the outage lasts for a few weeks, it is an emergency. If the outage extends over a large region, those in the interior will not have recourse to support from areas with power. A few families and a few businesses will have backup generators. People living in houses with solar panels can get by. But the rest of us will have to do without.
Imagine if you will what your neighborhood would be like if the power were out for six weeks. Cars will run out of gas. Food would spoil. Neighbors could turn mean. Street gangs could rove the streets doing bad things. After food, water, and medicine, your most important need would be for security, which can be provided only by the police or troops.
The concept of the response operation for this catastrophic emergency is to provide essential survival goods—food, water, and medicine—to those without power. The policy will be to ask people to stay in their homes and wait for help to come to them. Large numbers of people will try to self-evacuate to areas with power, thus impeding the influx of supplies and workers and equipment to restore the power supply. So a major challenge for the authorities will be to enforce the stay in place policy, assure fair distribution of essential supplies, and maintain law and order. The police will be overwhelmed. Governors will have to deploy their National Guard and State Defense Forces to augment the police within their respective states.
A Prolonged Disruption of Electronic Communications
The final catastrophic emergency I will address is a prolonged disruption of electronic communications. This would be similar to the prolonged power outage but greater in scope and even more disastrous in its consequences. It is possible to survive for a time without power using the old fashioned way. Few of you can even envision what it would be like to live without the internet and cell phones for a long time.
We are very vulnerable to the failure of electronic devices. We have abandoned the old methods that were used before electronic devices appeared. Most of us have lost the skills necessary to function in a non-electronic world.
As a society we have become very dependent, perhaps overly dependent on the internet and electronic systems to manage data and to communicate. When those systems fail massively it would be a catastrophic emergency.
It is no secret that our systems are subjected to millions of cyber attacks daily. Most of these are thwarted before they can do great harm, but some do cause damage and money.
If our economy and society are suddenly deprived of electronic communications, the disruption of will provoke disorder and provide a fertile field for criminals and some normally law abiding citizens driven to rage by frustration. This condition on a regional or national basis will soon become too hard for the police, and troops will be needed to help maintain order and provide security while we reestablish systems and learn to cope with a world without the internet, cell phones, and electronic systems of all kinds. This is yet another situation for which the existing of a strong SDF with organized, disciplined, trained and armed troops would be very useful.
There are other catastrophic and lesser emergencies in which the SDF can play an important role. But in order to have an adequate SDF, some things have to be done.
What Needs to Be Done
There certainly is a persuasive case for having a large number of SDF troops available to the Governors to deal with catastrophic emergencies as well as lesser emergencies. It is up to all of us to see that this case is made the basis for persuading the governors to sponsor and fund such a program.
I will address three of the controversial issues that plague the SDF community. They are whether the SDF is to be armed or not; whether the SDF is to be a cadre or at full strength; and the overall strength of the SDF.
Arming the State Defense Forces
To Arm or not to Arm? That is the question that gets to the bottom of what the SDF is to be. Some TAGs want the SDF to be nothing more than a source of low-cost help to perform administrative work and provide support services. They perceive the proper role of the SDF is to do some low priority programs for the Guard such as taking care of the armories—sort of a supplementary caretaker group. That is not my image. An unarmed SDF cannot perform the security and response missions for which the SDF is needed and which is the sole basis for having the SDF in the first place. An unarmed militia is an oxymoron.
Except for the Naval Militia, which truly has the right idea on this issue, none of the numerous competing volunteer organizations envision arming their members. They resemble what we old soldiers would characterize as camp followers whose duties were to wash the clothes and cook the food for those in the ranks. Indeed, it may be a good idea to provide unarmed civilians to provide some of the support for the National Guard that DOD has failed to provide, but that is not the proper role of the State Defense Forces.
The Nation has many law enforcement officers to enforce the law and maintain order. There are about a million sworn police officers in the United States. This number has remained stable for a decade despite increasing population and crime. There are also almost a million criminals and members of violent street gangs in the United States. The balance between the cops and the criminals is precarious even in normal times. When a catastrophic emergency occurs, the police will need help. That help can be provided only by military forces trained and armed to perform security duty. These military forces can come from Federal active duty and reserve units, from the National Guards of the several states, and from the State Defense forces—provided the SDF troops are trained and equipped with weapons appropriate for their role.
Numerous other volunteer organizations exist to provide specialized services for emergency response. The Red Cross is one. The Disaster Response Medical System is another. The Neighborhood Watch is still another. The Civil Air Patrol and the Coast Guard Auxiliary perform valuable services and can do so without being armed. The Citizen Corps sponsored by DHS offers willing Americans an opportunity to participate in Homeland Security programs by performing a variety of jobs—none of which require them to be armed. If an individual objects to serving in an armed force, he or she should join one of these civilian organizations.
Often, when I mention the need for armed SDF, someone says that you SDF members are not to be trusted with weapons. One retired regular major general said he doubted whether you SDF members would be capable or qualifying with your weapons on a range. Another senior person said that arming you would be a threat to the nation. Many members of the National Guard and some Adjutants General with SDF units oppose arming your troops.
Those who oppose arming the SDF also offer some practical objections. There is the additional burden of storing arms and ammunition, conducting weapons training, and assuring that weapons safety is maintained. Some fear consequences of accidents and the liability issues that could result from them. Some fear that armed militia men will go on a rampage in the woods and kill or wound civilians. These arguments appear to be excuses to avoid arming the SDF. These same objections apply to the National Guard itself. None of the objections are sufficient reason either to disarm the National Guard or deny weapons to the SDF.
All of these are excuses to avoid arming the SDF, but they are not good enough to offset the need for organized, disciplined, trained, and armed troops. Such arguments reflect badly on you. You have among your ranks veterans of active and reserve duty with many years of military service and experience. How do you feel about being labeled as either too incompetent or too untrustworthy or both to command and train your soldiers to bear arms in defense of the Nation?
The US is awash with handguns, rifles, and even some heavy weapons in the hands of gangs, illegal militias, and other unauthorized criminal groups. The bad guys will have arms, and experience indicates they will use them for their own advantage. Sworn law enforcement officers are responsible for maintaining law and order, but there will be too few of them to maintain law and order during and after a catastrophic emergency. National Guard troops will have arms, but they also will be too few to do it all during and after a catastrophic emergency. Federal troops will be armed, but they will arrive at the scene after a delay. The need is for more organized, disciplined, trained, and armed troops—and that is the role of the SDF.
I said before and I say again that sending unarmed SDF troops out to enforce cordons, secure critical assets, manage evacuations, provide security for firefighters and medical teams, and suppress civil disorders would amount to criminal negligence.
Finally, I ask that you ponder this proposition. It is far better to have arms and not need them than to need arms and not have them.
Cadres or Full Strength?
I note with sadness and disbelief that some states have adopted a policy of maintaining their SDF units at cadre strength with the expectation that they will be able to recruit, train, and bring their units to full strength in time to do some good. This will not work.
I can just picture it now. And I want you to think about it also. A nuclear weapon has just detonated in Washington DC. The chief of staff of the Virginia National Guard rushes into the AG’s office and says breathlessly: General, Washington DC has just been attacked with a nuclear weapon. What do we do now? The AG then says, “Send out the recruiters to bring the Virginia Defense Force to full strength!” I think not.
It is the nature of catastrophic emergencies to be unforgiving of delayed responses. The attacks will occur without warning or with little warning. There may be warning of some disasters but too little advance notice to spend six to ten weeks bringing the State Defense Force to full strength.
The only pseudo-advantage of cadre units is to provide the illusion of readiness without the reality.
For catastrophic emergencies in particular and for lesser emergencies as well, it is absolutely necessary to be fully prepared in advance. That means that the SDF units must be at full strength, fully equipped, have access to stockpiled supplies, and trained and rehearsed on pre-scripted responses to catastrophic emergencies.
Strength of the SDF
Finally, there ought to be some strength goals to pursue. The present situation of 25 units sharing 20,000 active members is unsatisfactory. That amounts to an average of 800 active members per state. This is far too few members to provide adequate support for a response to a catastrophic emergency.
My own initial strength goal would be to have 300,000 armed active members of the SDF nationwide. This is an average of only about 6,000 per state. Surely that is a feasible goal.
The current small strength of the SDF is due to more to self-inflicted budgetary wounds and worries about administrative burden rather than difficulties of recruiting and retention. Recruiting will succeed if it is tried. Retention will succeed if the troops are given realistic training and important missions.
There are large numbers of trained veterans of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan that have left active duty, do not want to join the National Guard or a Federal Reserve Component, but would like to help provide for the security of the United States in some way. These prior-service personnel could be integrated into SDF units, undergo some refresher training, and be ready to serve. Many of these people will be NCOs and junior officers, but the tables of organization can be modified to have a grade structure that could accommodate them.
The rationale for the initial goal of 300,000 active members is that this is about half of the strength of the Army and Air National Guards. The future employment of the National Guard on Federal active duty to support the conduct of the war on terror is not known, but the policy has been that each governor will have at least half of his or her National Guard available for Homeland Defense and Civil Support missions. We don’t know the future, but it is prudent to assume that the National Guard will continue to contribute large numbers of units and individuals to the Army and Air Force respectively.
A strength of 300,000 active members will solve a lot of problems. The SDF will become a recognized and reputable contributor to Homeland Security instead of a little known, ineffective fringe group. The stigma attached by some to a force considered by some to consist mostly of self-styled generals and colonels will vanish. As the strength of the SDF increases, the value of this military force in lesser emergencies will be even more apparent. The National Guard may even recognize the value of their SDF units and accept the SDF soldiers as comrades.
In particular, the increased strength at low cost will be welcomed by Governors when they face emergencies beyond their capacity to manage. If Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi had large SDFs, the late arrival of Federal troops for the Katrina Emergency would not have been so damaging to the response. As it was, the use of 5,000 SDF personnel mostly from other states was very useful in the Katrina response operation.
A strong SDF would or should be welcomed by DOD. The increased capability of Governors to deal with attacks and disasters would allow the states to deal with more emergencies without needing federal help. When, as will be the case for catastrophic emergencies, Federal resources and troops will be needed immediately, the presence of strong SDF units in the incident area will fill the needs until the Federal troops arrive.
Another factor is that the ability and perhaps the intention of DOD to have the President federalize all of the National Guard elements in an affected state will strip the governors of any resources needed to support his or her own operations. In that event, the SDF will be the only military forces available to the Governors. If that occurs, a governor is certain to wish that he or she had done the right thing for the SDF before the emergency occurred. It is up to us to relieve governors from that prospect.
What Does the Future Hold for the SDF?
The SDF program is at a critical juncture. The State Guard Association has to take some action. You have to decide whether you are in business to advocate and lobby for a strong, armed militia or to continue to maintain an unsatisfactory status quo. Taking action for a strong SDF will not be an easy task. You have few allies. You need to develop champions for a strong SDF. There are individuals out there, some with great stature, that realize the importance of a strong SDF and will work with you to make that happen. You need to provide leadership and a focal point for all of individuals. In particular, you have the ability to influence the governors and the adjutants general who can make their SDFs valuable assets if they want to.
The title of this talk is The Role of the State Defense Forces in Homeland Security. In my view, that role is to provide large numbers of organized, disciplined, trained, and armed troops to augment the police, National Guard troops, and federal troops in anticipation of and in response to catastrophic emergencies. It is up to you members of the State Guard Association to assure that the State Defense Forces are adequate to perform this role.
October 2, 2007: for immediate release
State Defense Force Expansion Pushed with Kansas Legislature in Topeka and Reserve Officers Association in Washington
(Topeka, Kansas) – State defense forces provide the most cost-effective military manpower multiplier available, and with a soaring federal deficit America must seek enhanced homeland security solutions that are not just effective but affordable, according to U.S. Freedom Foundation President John E. Stone.
“State Defense Forces played a vital role in U.S. homeland security during World War II as backup to the National Guard,” Stone says. “They were armed, trained, and fully supported by the Roosevelt Administration, Congress, and the War Department. Current forces are only a shadow of their WWII strength, yet performed well when put to the test during Katrina and Rita. So why hasn’t the Bush Administration and Congress stepped forward to re-energize State Defense Forces for what looks to be a lengthy struggle against global terrorism?”
Stone recommended that state defense forces be improved and expanded nationwide last Wednesday in Topeka during testimony before the Kansas State Legislature Joint House-Senate Committee on Kansas Security, and again Friday in a keynote address to the Reserve Officers Association in Washington.
Kansas is considering joining 24 other states and territories in establishing a state defense force as a state-level reserve to the Kansas National Guard. U.S. Freedom Foundation strongly supports state defense forces for improved homeland security response capability at no cost to the federal government, and negligible cost to state governments.
The Joint Committee held an extensive hearing on SB 328 by State Senator Dennis Pyle (R-Hiawatha) that would create a Kansas State Defense Force. Kansas is the second state this year to consider activating a Title 32 military reserve. Arizona approved re-establishment of a defense force last spring.
The Foundation followed the Kansas legislative hearings with a Friday keynote address on state defense forces to the Reserve Officers Association in Washington.
Stone said the states currently possess total flexibility in building a military reserve based on local needs, and pointed to the wide diversity in existing state defense forces as examples. “Alaska provides a well-armed force, acting in backup to both the National Guard and Alaska State Police,” Stone said. “In sharp contrast, the Maryland Defense Force is almost exclusively a medical support unit and is not armed. Meanwhile, standing somewhere in the middle is the Virginia Defense Force, which is unarmed unless specifically called to arms by the Governor, but provides a full slate of military support services, including military police, communications, medical, aviation, legal, and chaplain services.”
September 24, 2007: for immediate release
Poll Finds 89% in Support of Sending 36,000 Troops to Secure the Southern Border
(Washington, DC) – 89% of Americans support sending at least 36,000 National Guard and military reserves to immediately secure the southern border, according to an online poll conducted by U.S. Freedom Foundation. 9% were opposed to the plan, while 2% were undecided, according to the online poll conducted September 18-24. 376 participants responded on the organization’s website. The poll was the latest in the Foundation’s 2007 Public Opinion Series.
The poll addressed the most recent proposal for U.S. Governors to override the Bush Administration decision to withdraw half of the 6,000 National Guardsmen sent to the border last year, under the Administration’s “Operation Jump Start”. The deployment came after publication of a field investigation report to the House Immigration Reform Caucus calling for a minimum 36,000 troop deployment to halt the estimated 1 million illegal entries annually across the southern border.
U.S. Governors now have the legal ability to use their National Guard and State Defense Forces to secure the border at federal expense, following homeland security reforms passed by Congress in 2004. Under the new rules, border state Governors could order the National Guard back to the border at federal expense for up to 180 days in spite of the Administration’s decision to order a retreat. The four border state Governors have not yet responded to the challenge.
“The message from the public over-and-over to both parties on immigration is clear,” says U.S. Freedom Foundation President John E. Stone. “Secure the border right now. No more excuses. It can be done within a single week if our elected officials just do their job. This poll reaffirms what rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans have agreed on years ago – immigration reform begins with secure borders, we don’t have them, and there’s no point trying to address any other aspect of this issue until we do.”
“The Bush Administration, like the Clinton Administration before it, has flatly refused to enforce the law,” Stone says, “but our border state Governors now have the legal ability to take over border security by calling out their National Guard, asking the other 46 Governors to lend a hand, and then billing Washington for the cost as is allowed under Title 32 Section 9 of the US Code.”
August 24, 2007
Blackburn Praised for Reintroducing Norwood CLEAR Act
(Washington, DC) – The execution-style murders of three New Jersey college students may have been prevented had the Clear Law Enforcement for Removal of Criminal Illegal Aliens (CLEAR) Act by the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, DDS (R-GA) been passed into law during the 109th Congress. Now U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has stepped forward to give America a second chance to thwart similar future violence by reintroducing the CLEAR Act.
“Marsha Blackburn deserves the thanks and praise of both parties for reviving Charlie’s bill to protect Americans from violence by criminal illegal aliens,” says Foundation President John E. Stone. “And from having spent years fighting with Rep. Norwood to pass the CLEAR Act into law, I know it took a tremendous amount of true courage to bring the bill forward in light of the attacks she will have to endure from illegal alien lobbyists like La Raza and the ACLU. She will be called every name imaginable for daring to suggest that local law enforcement should jail and help in the deportation process of criminal illegal aliens.”
Stone was Deputy Chief of Staff to Rep. Norwood until Norwood’s passing last February. Since returning to the Foundation earlier this summer, Stone has pushed a state-level revival of Norwood’s other major illegal immigration proposal to post a minimum 36,000 troops on the southern border to immediately halt new illegal entries.
“Regardless where one stands on the details of handling America’s illegal immigration nightmare, there are two absolute consensus points for anyone who claims to oppose illegal immigration,” Stone says. “First, we have to seal the border against future illegal entries. Interior enforcement efforts are meaningless if deportees can walk back across within hours of deportation. Second, all Americans of common sense agree that criminal aliens should be jailed and deported as rapidly as possible. The CLEAR Act has nothing to do with illegal immigrants here for work or as dependents, so that’s off the table. This is strictly about criminals, and anyone opposing this bill is in fact aiding and abetting continued criminal activity like that which just claimed the lives of three innocent American college students, who had so much to offer their community and nation.”
August 10, 2007
Governors Urged to Veto Bush Orders to Pull National Guard from Border
(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Governors are being urged to use their existing legal authority under federal and state law to veto President Bush’s order to pull 3,000 National Guard troops from the southern border.
U.S. Freedom Foundation today called for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and Texas Governor Rick Perry to immediately issue executive orders to replace any National Guard forces withdrawn from the border by the Bush Administration with troops under state command. Further, the Foundation called for the Governors of the remaining 46 states to immediately come to the support of the mission by offering troops to assist efforts by the 4 Border States.
“Four states should not be asked to assume the homeland security burden of the entire nation,” says U.S. Freedom Foundation President John E. Stone. “But in this case, the federal government has abdicated its constitutional obligation to defend our borders. The people, through the states, must now take up the job that our Republican President and Democratic Congress have abandoned.”
“The Governors have full legal authority to deploy their National Guard and State Defense Forces as they see fit to protect the citizens of their state,” says Stone. “The only question is whether they can force the federal government to pay their costs. We believe they can, under USC Title 32 Section 9, as amended in 2004 for precisely these type homeland security needs. But regardless of federal reimbursement, if all 50 Governors would commit to maintaining the existing deployment level, it would only require an average commitment of 60 soldiers per state to replace the 3,000 troops the President has ordered withdrawn. That is a miniscule price to help secure our border.”
While the 6,000 troops deployed over the last year are credited with reducing illegal border crossings by 24%, U.S. Freedom Foundation supports a 36,000 troop deployment plan that would virtually end illegal crossings on the southern border.
USFF Letter to the Border State Governors:
August 10, 2007
Governor Janet Napolitano
Governor Rick Perry
Governor Bill Richardson
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
We believe the Administration plan to reduce the current National Guard deployment of 6,000 troops on our southern border in your respective states is counter to the homeland security needs of America. We feel it is also in direct conflict with the national, bipartisan consensus that we must begin immigration reform by first securing our borders. The deployment level should be dramatically increased, not cut in half.
You possess the legal authority to counter this severe policy error by ordering your state’s National Guard to replace all troops departing under the President’s order. Further, we believe you also possess legal authority under USC Title 32 Section 9 to receive full compensation of your costs for such a homeland security deployment from the Department of Defense.
We believe it is an absolute necessity that the remaining 46 states come to your assistance in this effort, both with manpower and funding, pending federal reimbursement. Your four states should not be asked to unilaterally assume the enormous burden of securing our southern border that should be borne by the nation at-large. We commit to doing everything within our ability to encourage your fellow Governors to come to your aid.
We urge you to immediately order appropriate numbers of your National Guard and/or State Defense Forces to state active duty to replace any troops withdrawn by the President.
John E. Stone
President, U.S. Freedom Foundation
Cc: National Governors Association
December 7, 2006: For Immediate Release
National Homeland Security Leadership Recognized with Homeland Defender Awards
(Washington, DC) - U.S. Freedom Foundation, a non-profit nonpartisan Washington advocacy group for middle-class economic interests on homeland security, health care, and education today announced recipients of the organization's second Homeland Defender Awards for national leaders who have exhibited outstanding support for increased local efforts to improve homeland defense capabilities within strict constitutional guidelines.
The Foundation also presented its highest homeland security honor, the Champion of U.S. Homeland Security Award, to freshman Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) for his leadership in introducing the State Defense Force Improvement Act of 2003, HR 2797.
U.S. Freedom Foundation Senior Homeland Security Fellow Colonel John R. Brinkerhoff, USA (RET) says, "the leaders recognized through these awards have led the way over the last two years for Americans to be re-introduced to homeland security at the local level. Our nation was founded on the principle of individual Americans joining to defend themselves under the old state militia system, the precursor of today's National Guard and State Defense Forces. Just as December 7, 1941 energized the rebirth of state reserves to the National Guard for World War II, 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina showed that these time-proven homeland security forces are still sorely needed today. The recipients of these awards deserve the thanks of the nation for their willingness to step forward and lead on this issue in an absolutely non-partisan way, and we look forward to their continued leadership on both sides of the aisle in the 110th Congress."
This year's U.S. Freedom Foundation Homeland Defender Award recipients, in alphabetical order, are:
- U.S. Rep Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
- U.S.ArmyWarCollege National Guard Advisor LTC Brent Bankus, USA (RET)
- U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-SC)
- U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH)
- U.S. Rep Henry Brown (R-SC)
- U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN)
- LTC James Carafano, PhD, USA (RET), Assistant Director, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, Heritage Foundation
- U.S. Rep Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
- U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA)
- U.S. Rep Lincoln Davis (D-TN)
- U.S. Rep Luis Fortuno (D-PR)
- U.S. Rep Virgil Goode (R-VA)
- U.S. Rep Bob Inglis (R-SC)
- U.S. Rep William Jenkins (R-TN)
- U.S. Rep Randy Kuhl (R-NY)
- U.S. Rep Jim Marshall (D-GA)
- U.S. Rep Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
- U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
- U.S. Rep Sue Myrick (R-NC)
- Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., USAF, Adjutant General, Virginia National Guard
- U.S. Rep Charlie Norwood (R-GA)
- Mr. Gary Nowacki, Deputy Chief Patrol Agent, (RET), U.S. Border Patrol
- LTC Frederick Peterson, JD, USMC (RET), Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives /Mission Security Solutions, Federal Sector, Computer Sciences Corporation
- U.S. Rep George Radanovich (R-CA)
- U.S. Rep Charles Rangel (D-NY)
- U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-GA)
- U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
- U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC)
- Mr. Seth Stodder, former Senior Policy Advisor to Customs and Border Protection Director Robert Bonner, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
- U.S. Senator John Sununu (R-NH)
- U.S. Rep.EdTowns (D-NY)
- U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
- U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)
- Maj. Gen. William Whitworth, USA (RET), President, State Guard Association of the United States
- U.S. Rep Frank Wolf (R-VA)
August 21, 2006
U.S. Borders Must be Secured
John R. Brinkerhoff, Senior Homeland Security Fellow
Most Americans appear to support securing the Border, but even those who favor this action may not appreciate fully just how important that is during this time of peril.
We live in an unsafe world for which we are manifestly unprepared both physically and emotionally. Even during the days of the Cold War, the threat of global domination by leftist autocrats did not dispel our basic feeling of security at home. It is different now, for the threat of islamofascism is real, pervasive, and frightening.
That makes it hard to understand why anyone would oppose securing the borders with Canada and Mexico. While the emphasis is on the southern border, the northern border also has to be secured. We cannot allow our freedoms to be endangered even more by entry of illegal and dangerous people and things.
Most of the public attention recently is on stopping the invasion of illegal immigrants, but there are also other good reasons to secure the borders. There has to be a comprehensive program to prevent entry by the following:
· People with infectious diseases
· Infected Animals and other products
· Smuggled goods to avoid payment of duties
· Illegal Immigrants
Entry by dangerous people and things is abetted by a permissive policy on illegal immigrants. Either we have protection against all of these things or we remain vulnerable to some of them. If poor Mexicans seeking work can enter the United States more or less at will, so can evil people bent on killing us. In the event of an influenza pandemic, infected border crossers can nullify our own efforts to halt the spread of the deadly virus. Criminal cartels that profit from our addiction to illegal drugs by smuggling drugs into the country benefit from loopholes in our border security. Refusal by some local governments to enforce the law and well meant but misguided support for entry by illegal immigrants for whatever reasons weakens our security severely.
It is sad but necessary that we protect our borders until once again, perhaps, the United States can let down the barriers and enjoy the benefits of unrestricted freedom of movement. It is a strange time. Globalism promotes and depends on freedom of movement, while terrorism causes restriction of movement. Even as we seek a reasonable balance, we must protect ourselves or surrender to the chaos and fear that is prevalent in most of the rest of the world. If the United States goes down, so goes the hope of freedom for all.
News Release - U.S. Freedom Foundation
Title 32 State Defense Force National Standards Recommendations Unveiled
(Washington, DC) - America's reserve to the National Guard should not only be challenged as never before in light of the homeland security threats facing the nation, but should be rewarded for meeting those challenges, according to the recommendations of the Homeland Security Military Advisory Board of U.S. Freedom Foundation.
The panel today released the recommendations for new voluntary National Standards for the nation's state defense forces authorized under U.S.C. Title 32 Section 109(c) as the state military reserve to the National Guard.
The release culminated two years of research into the current status, capabilities, training, and certification of America's 26 authorized defense forces. The 3-member board consisted of Colonel (RET) John R. Brinkerhoff, USA, Foundation Board member, Senior Fellow for Homeland Security, and former Associate Director for National Preparedness for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Lieutenant Colonel (RET) Brent Bankus, USA, former National Guard Advisor for the U.S. Army War College; and Lieutenant Colonel (RET) Frederick Peterson, USMC, J.D. formerly of Northern Command Joint Task Force Six.
The ten recommended standards were submitted for consideration jointly to the Midyear Convention of the State Guard Association of the United States, and Lieutenant General H. Steven Blum, Chief, National Guard Bureau. Copies of the recommendations were also distributed to the Adjutant Generals of the respective states, and to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Board called for voluntary state compliance with any standards, and for Department of Homeland Security grants and Department of Defense training assistance as compliance incentives. The standards include recommendations of organizational names, troop strength levels, arms, vehicles, uniforms, individual qualifications and training, physical fitness and medical standards, pay, continuing education benefits, liability protections, and professional licensing standards.
Katrina Relief After-Action Media Links:
America's Military Reserves Respond to Unprecedented Disaster
Alabama State Defense Force
Decatur (AL) Daily News - 14 ALSDF Troops Arrive in Mobile for Disaster Duty http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/050905/brief.shtml
The Huntsville Times - ALSDF Radio Operators Help Families Search for Victims http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1126430454164070.xml&coll=1
Mobile Register - ALSDF Manages Donations in Mobile. http://www.al.com/news/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/news/1125998278247471.xml&coll=3
Montgomery Advertiser - Increased Recruiting Expected for ALSDF Following Katrina
Arkansas Civil Air Patrol
KLFY TV10 Lafayette, LA - Arkansas CAP Provides Aerial Damage Assessment
Florida Civil Air Patrol
Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader - CAP from 5 States Provide Aerial Support for Katrinahttp://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/nation/12593053.htm
Georgia State Defense Force
Atlanta Journal Constitution - (9/24) GSDF Assists Texas Medical Evacuees http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/cobb/0905/24metritaevac.html
Gainesville (GA) Times - GSDF Supervises Deployment of GSDF, N.GA. College ROTC Cadets to Disaster Area. http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20050903/localnews/11865.shtml
Maryland Defense Force
NewsZap (Eastern Shore, MD) 82 MDDF Personnel Assist in Mississippi at Request of MS Governor -
WBAL TV11 (NBC) Baltimore - MDDF Sends 70 to Gulf Coast
Ocean City (MD) Dispatch - MDDF Deploys Second Medical Team to Louisiana
Towson (MD) Times - Maryland Health Professionals Given Automatic Rank to Join MDDF Relief Effort.
The Annapolis Capitol - MDDF Brings Lifeline to Katrina Victims
COX News - MDDF Medical Team Sets Up Triage Hospital http://www.oxfordpress.com/school/content/shared/news/nation/stories/09/12KATRINA_CDC.html
Boston Globe - MDDF Medical Teams Treat Storm Victims
Mississippi State Guard
Sarasota Herald-Tribune - (9/15) MSG Medical Team Provides Health Care to Victims
WBAY TV2 Action News (Green Bay, WS) - MSG Providing Hattiesburg Shelter Management http://www.wbay.com/Global/story.asp?S=3824141
Southwest Mississippi Daily Journal - 100% MSG Ordered to Report to EOC http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15139891&BRD=1377&PAG=461&dept_id=172922&rfi=6
Nebraska Civil Air Patrol
Yankton (SD) Dakotan - Nebraska CAP Aids Mississippi. http://www.yankton.net/stories/091205/news_20050912001.shtml
Oklahoma Civil Air Patrol
KLFY TV10 Lafayette, LA - Oklahoma CAP Aids Louisiana
Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol
WFMZ TV69 (CNN) Allentown - Pennsylvania CAP Unit Returns from Week in Mississippi
Texas State Guard
The Huntsville (TX) Item (9/27) - Texas State Guard Helps Prevent Looting. http://itemonline.com/articles/2005/09/27/news/local/news2.txt
Dallas Morning News - (9/23) TXNG, TXSG Set Up 14 New Shelters (reported in multiple print and television outlets nationwide)
WFAA TV Dallas - (9/23) TXSG Shelter Sites Listed
KTAL TV6 (NBC) Shreveport - (9/22) 500 TXSG Ordered to Duty by Governor
San Antonio Express Editorial - Texas State Guard Not Yet Paid
San Antonio Express - TXSG Not Yet Paid http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA091405.10A.texas_guard_pay.12a3fddc.html
San Antonio Express - TXSG Coordinates Relief with Mexican Army
Texas Rangers Press Release: Texas Rangers Baseball Team Joins TXSG in Relief at Reunion Arena
Amarillo Globe News - 250 TXSG Deployed to Supervise Shelters http://www.amarillo.com/stories/090805/new_2736466.shtml
USA Today - TXSG Chaplain Quoted on Re-location Efforts
Longview (TX) News-Journal - TXSG Engaged in Shelter Management
CBS News - 1,000 TXSG Deployed in Relief Efforts. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/09/03/katrina/main814653.shtml
Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel - TXSG Shelter Mgmt Training Pays Off
Amarillo Globe News - 250 Members TXSG 39th Bde at Ready
Dallas Morning News - 50 TXSG Back Up Dallas Police
October 24, 2005
Understanding the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act
John R. Brinkerhoff, Senior Fellow for Homeland Security
Most Americans believe that the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of federal troops to enforce the law in the United States. They also believe that the President has to wait until a governor asks for help before he can send federal troops to help and even only to quell an insurrection. These beliefs are erroneous. They are based on complete misunderstanding of the two major laws that pertain to this issue. This is important, for understanding the true status of the laws and authorities is essential if we are to provide for the security of the homeland in an age of terrorism and catastrophic natural disasters.
In this article, I will address both the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act, using different approaches to help you understand what each really means. I will parse the Posse Comitatus Act to allow you to understand what it really means. I will tell the story of the Insurrection Act to allow you to understand how it came to be enacted.
This is important, for the true status of the laws and authorities are essential if we are to provide for the security of the homeland in an age of terrorism and catastrophic natural disasters.
A lot of people are talking about the Posse Comitatus Act, and almost all of them get it wrong. Few, if any, of the media and academia pontificators have even read the law itself. Well, here it is-United States Code Title 18, Section 1385.
Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Forces as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years or both.
In order to help the readers understand what this one-sentence law means, I am going to parse it. That is, I am going to examine its meaning by determining the parts of speech in the sentence. As older readers will remember, this is known as diagramming a sentence.
It should be noted at the outset that the law does not contain the word "prohibited." The law says nothing about the provision of relief or support from or by the federal government. It pertains to the use of the Army or Air Force to execute the laws as a member of a "posse comitatus" formed by a U.S. Attorney, U.S. marshal, a sheriff, law enforcement officer, or other public official or private citizen.
A sentence has to contain a subject, verb, and an object. The subject in this sentence is the word: "Whoever." The verb is "uses." The object is "part of the Army and Air Force." The rest of the sentence consists of clauses that modify the subject, the verb, or the object. Stripped of the modifiers, the sentence reads: Whoever uses part of the Army and Air Force.
Next we will address the modifiers of the verb. The first modifier is the adverb "willfully." This means that the using is done on purpose and not accidentally. The second modifier explains the kind of the use to which the verb applies. In this law, this use is "as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws." The sentence now reads, "whoever willfully uses any part of the Army and Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws."
Note that the offender under this law would not be the Army of Air Force, or members of the Army or Air Force but the person who uses them in violation of the law. This may explain why no person has been convicted of violating the Posse Comitatus Act since it was enacted in 1878.
I know you are waiting eagerly to find out what happens to those "whoevers" that do this bad thing willfully, so we next add the consequences of such an action, and now the law reads as follows:
Whoever willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years or both.
This is almost the complete law. If it were the complete law, the pontificators would be correct in asserting that the law prohibits the use of the Army and Air Force from enforcing the law in the United Sates. However, Congress included an important qualification in the sentence that is often overlooked by those who prefer an absolute prohibition. The important exception is the following clause that modifies the subject: Except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress.
It is clear that Congress has someone in mind that could lawfully authorize the Army and Air Force to execute the laws. Who is this person or persons to whom Congress grants that authority?
Congress has on several occasions? enacted laws that authorize one person-and one person only-to authorize the Army and Air Force to execute the laws. That person is the President of the United States. To make it clear what the sentence really says, I will substitute this meaning of the exception clause in the parsed version of the Posse Comitatus Act.
Whoever, except the Congress or the President of the United States, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus of otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned or both.
Restated even more clearly, the intent of this law reads as follows: Only the Congress or the President of the United States may authorize the use of the Army and Air Force to execute the laws.
That is what the Posse Comitatus Act means-or at least what it meant when it was enacted in 1878. Unfortunately for the Nation, the meaning of the law was completely revised by activist judges in the 1970s, so recent case law is the opposite of the law itself. That modern revised version of the Posse Comitatus Act is what most people are citing when they assert that federal troops are prohibited from enforcing the law in the United States. Fortunately, the Insurrection Act stands, and it permits the President to use federal troops to enforce the laws either at the request of a governor or on the initiative of the President.
The Insurrection Act consists of four statutes enacted at different times for different reasons that, when considered as a whole, provide the power that Presidents have used many times as the legal basis for using troops to enforce the law. The four sections of law are as follows.
Title 10, Section 334 was enacted in 1792 as the Calling Forth Act to give President George Washington authority to call forth the militia when in his judgment they were needed to repel invasions, suppress insurrections, or enforce the laws. To assure that this authority was not abused, a reluctant Congress specified that before using the troops, the President would have to issue a proclamation calling on the insurgents to disperse in a limited time.
Title 10, Section 331 is a combination of two laws. One was enacted in 1795 to correct weaknesses in the Calling Forth Act (1792) when it was used to suppress the Whisky Rebellion in 1793. This law gave the President specific authority to call forth the militia upon the request of a governor or state legislature, if the governor were unable to apply for the assistance. The second law was enacted in 1807 at the request of President Thomas Jefferson to extend Presidential authority to call forth the standing army as well at the militia. This section allows the President to used the armed forces to enforce the laws or suppress a rebellion whenever, in his opinion, unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages or rebellion against the authority of the United States make it impractical to enforce the laws using the course of judicial proceedings.
Title 10, Section 332 was enacted in 1861 at the request of President Abraham Lincoln to increase Presidential authority to use the militia and the regular army to suppress insurrections and enforce the laws. This law was the legal basis for waging the Civil War. This law allows the President to use federal troops on his own initiative and act on his own judgment without waiting for a request from a governor.
Title 10, Section 333 was enacted in 1869 at the request of President U. S. Grant to empower him to use federal troops to suppress the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction. The original version of this law said that it was the duty of the President to use the armed forces or militia to respond to insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracies that deprive any portion or class of people their Constitutional rights and privileges when state authorities are unable or refuse to protect such people.
The Insurrection Act empowers the President, either upon his own initiative or at the request of a governor to use federal troops to address a variety of civil disturbances that could be provoked by a major terrorist attack. Sections 332 and 333 make it clear that it is up to the President to determine when and where to use federal troops to enforce the laws. The prudent reader should see for him or her self by going to the Internet and reading the statutes cited.
The truth of the matter is that the Posse Comitatus Act is irrelevant. It need not be changed. What needs to be changed is the prevalent misconception of its original intent. As the parsing exercise above shows, it was intended to allow the President and only the President to use federal troops to execute the laws. As the discussion of the Insurrection Act shows, the President has sufficient authority to do what needs to be done to use federal troops to maintain law and order. The people, the politicians, and the President all need to understand that.
John Brinkerhoff, Senior Fellow for Homeland Security, U.S. Freedom Foundation
April 28, 2004
Improving America's Reserve to the National Guard:
HR2797: The State Defense Force Improvement Act
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State Defense Forces: An Untapped Homeland Defense Asset
LTC Brent C. Bankus, National Guard Advisor, Strategic Studies Institute,
U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
February 1, 2004
Senators Daschle, Graham Praised for Legislation Expanding TRICARE Access to National Guard and Reserves
U.S. Freedom Foundation News Release
October 14, 2004
General Clark's Reserve Corps Already Exists:
State Defense Forces remain the Nation's least-recognized,
but most cost-effective force multiplier
U.S. Freedom Foundation News Release
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October 2, 2003
American Forces Press Service: Clear Day Turned Ugly Tests Georgia's First Responders
More On State Defense Forces
Click above for the official home page of the State Guard Association of the United States. Site lists web addresses and recruitment information for the nation's 24 authorized state defense forces.